MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2006

David Carroll

Naturalist, Author, and Illustrator

Warner, NH

Age: 64

Published September 1, 2006
Image of David Carroll

David Carroll has the eye of an artist, the mind of a scientist, the voice of a great storyteller, and the soul of a conservationist. An illustrator, author, and naturalist for over forty years, he has made voluminous, detailed observations of the ecology of the deciduous hardwood forests and wetland habitats around New England, especially near his home in central New Hampshire. His understanding of the plants and animals that comprise these natural systems makes him a valuable resource for herpetologists, ecologists, and conservationists, providing a meticulous chronicle of life in areas threatened by human encroachment and imparting essential insights for those attempting to protect them. Freshwater turtles are the central focus of his studies, particularly the increasingly rare spotted and wood turtles. With an artist’s sensibility, David Carroll immerses himself in wetland environments, gaining a deep understanding of the lives of swamp-dwelling creatures and the threats to their survival. He has published four books on aspects of natural history and wildlife preservation, including Swampwalker’s Journal (1999), detailing his expeditions and illustrated with precise sketches and maps, and Self-Portrait with Turtles (2004), a memoir that describes his lifelong fascination with swamps and the creatures that inhabit them. Through his artwork, writing, fieldwork, and speaking, Carroll helps people of all ages see the beauty, history, and value in swamps, marshes, bogs, kettle ponds, and rivers.

David Carroll received a B.F.A. (1965) from Tufts University.  He is the author and illustrator of Trout Reflections (1993) and The Year of the Turtle (1996), in addition to his more recent books. Carroll’s artwork has been exhibited at such institutions as the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Dartmouth College Museum and Galleries, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. He is also an active lecturer and consultant to conservation institutions throughout New England.

David Carroll In the Media

"What a Genius Does with $500,000; Named a MacArthur Fellow"

New Hampshire Sunday News
Yitang Zhang, 2014 MacArthur Fellow
David Carroll , 2006 MacArthur Fellow
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About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

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2006 MacArthur Fellows Announced

MacArthur Foundation today named 25 new MacArthur Fellows for 2006. The new Fellows work across a broad spectrum of endeavors. Read More